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Monday, January 09, 2006

"I've got really bad gas!" or "Screwed at the pump!"

On the way to assemble some packages for a drum machine eating task-master, I had to buy some gas, because the little orange light on next to the gauge told me to. There was a huge line at the place by my house (only $1.99/gallon!), so I drove on. The next gas station was deserted ($2.01/gallon) so I pulled up. I spied 2 guys who may have been employees, or maybe just 1 was the employee and the other was the friend visiting on the job, talking his ear off.

Now, I'm not interested in stereotypes, but let's just say that, for what it's worth, these 2 gentlemen wouldn't have looked completely out of place in a documentary about New York cab drivers, or in some stock footage about terrorist training camps. After about 2 minutes (no exaggeration), one of them finally wandered over to my car. I kindly asked the man for $20 dollars of regular, while I handed him my debit card:

Me: Hi, can I get $20 of regular?
Him: 20 regular?
Me: Yeah.
Him: Ok.

There was no room for miscommunication here.
While the gas was pumping, I glanced over at the pump to see if it was almost done or what. And then I noticed that the pump was charging me $2.13 per gallon. At first I thought that maybe he thought I had asked for plus, or super, but the prices on the gigantic sign clearly read:

Regular: 2.01
Plus: 2.18
Super: 2.31

And upon further inspection, I noticed that all the prices on the pump were significantly higher than those on the humongous, brightly lit sign that attracted me to this ridiculous place in the first place.

Well, I thought, I'll just wait for nice man to come back and I'll show him the error of his ways. But, as I waited, I continued waiting. Finally, I came to terms with the fact that this guy was not coming back for chit chat. Once the pump clicked off, he waited a good minute until wandering over again and pulled out the handle and printed out my receipt. He handed it to me and said, "Ok, here you go", and walked off.

My total charge: $21.83.

This is distinctly more than I had asked for, when I said "20 dollars of regular".
So, I was pretty outraged at being:
a) charged a higher rate than advertised
b) charged a higher total than I had agreed to

Needless to say, I let loose a stream of expletives that even I was immediately ashamed of, but the good news is, I've found a new gas station to hate. I won't name it specifically here, but let's just say that it's in the Mall 205 area of Portland, and it's the one that everyone else in Portland knew to avoid yesterday afternoon.


BonikaStJames said...

Please tell me you complained to the manager and told the guy that you would not pay and that he made you and you really stuck it to them, cuz I'm pissed for you and that kind of crap really gets me.

Also, I would have and this is something that somewhat embarrasses my husband.

BethInPortland said...

That sucks but maybe they don't have to advertise tax as part of the price. I assume they do have to, so maybe they just never got around to changing the sign with the correct price cause they were chatting too much:)

Sloop said...

Bon - No, I'm a huge wuss and strive to avoid conflict with anyone other than my wife.

Beth - Good theory. But maybe they're just lazy jerks who don't care about honesty.